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Longworth Clough Nature Reserve

An outstanding mosaic of woodland, wetland and grassland; rich in wildlife

Longworth Clough nature reserve lies within the West Pennine Moors Management Area. It supports an outstanding mosaic of woodland, wetland and grassland, rich in wildlife. The Clough was once part of the estate of Longworth Hall, the seat of the Longworth family. The Hall's earliest mention is in a deed of 1630. It lay on the Longworth Road but was demolished around the time of the construction of Delph Reservoir (1908-21). The whole of the Eagley Brook was a hive of industrial activity throughout much of the 19th century, and Belmont Print Works and Belmont paper mill continue in business upstream of the nature reserve today. Evidence of Longworth Mill, demolished in 1912, can still be seen on flat land next to a stone bridge across the Eagley Brook. That mill was powered by water carried along a goyt from further upstream. The disused goyt is still a significant feature on the nature reserve today. The complex drainage of the site is not well understood but the resultant ground water seepages produce patches of flush-mire, supporting yellow iris, common spotted orchid, bog asphodel and sneezewort; and areas of alder and willow carr, supporting great horsetail, marsh marigold, and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage. Sessile oak woodland dominates the drier slopes. Acid grassland on the steeper slopes supports heath bedstraw and tormentil; especially on the banks of the old goyt and in parts of Oak Field, next to the Longworth Road. A few splashes of lilac are provided in late summer by flowering Devil's-bit scabious. Recent survey work has confirmed that Longworth Clough supports a very rich invertebrate community, particularly in respect of insects. Most of these won't be obvious to the casual visitor, but butterflies found include small skipper, large white, green-veined white, red admiral, peacock, comma, gatekeeper and meadow brown. Numerous woodland bird species breed on the nature reserve, including woodcock, tawny owl, tree pipit, wood warbler and long-tailed tit. A dipper has occasionally been seen feeding in the Eagley Brook.

 


Longworth Clough is one of our reserves that allows well-behaved dogs on leads. Our dog-friendly reserves are featured on Bauwow, a brilliant app where pooch lovers can find great places for their pets. Click on the Bauwow logo for more details.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Dean Wood
4 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Summerseat Nature Reserve
6 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Pleasington Old Hall Wood and Wildlife Garden
8 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
0.5 miles northwest of Egerton (south of Longworth Road)
Bolton
Lancashire
Map reference
SD 695 102
Great for...
getting away from it all
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Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
52.17 hectares
Status
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Walking information
Please stay on footpaths
Parking
Parking in rough laybys on the Longworth Road
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Cattle, sheep and ponies
Reserve manager
John Haddon
Tel: 01772 317239
jhaddon@lancswt.org.uk